A 35-year-old man, who came to Kerala from United Arab Emirates earlier this month, has tested positive for monkeypox, making him the third case of the virus from the country as well as the state.
Health Minister Veena George said the Malappuram native arrived in the southern state on July 6 and had fever since July 13.
He was undergoing treatment at the Manjeri Medical College there and his health condition is stable, she said.
The minister also said all those who were in close contact with the patient are being closely monitored and their health condition is also stable.
However, George made it clear that there was no need to panic over the disease as testing and surveillance have been intensified across the state.
"Everybody should be aware about the disease...isolation facilities have been arranged in all districts. Surveillance has been intensified after setting up help desks in airports," she said after a high level meeting of health department officials in Thiruvananthapuram.
The minister also directed to ensure that all health workers in the state are trained to deal with the disease.
India had last week reported a second confirmed case of monkeypox from Kerala's Kannur district.
It was a patient, a native of Kannur in north Kerala, who arrived in the southern state on July 13 and is undergoing treatment at the Pariyaram Medical College there.
The first case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral illness, was reported from Kollam district of south Kerala on July 14.
The patient is currently undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram.
According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.
With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health.